Torch Songs Cover Art

Torch Songs
Copyright © 1995 Jesse Rider

ISBN 1-888431-05-9

Jesse Rider's poetry takes its inspiration from Roman mythology and the sanguine writing of the classic poet Ovid, and is written in modern NYC vernacular.

The cover art fuses a hand-inked line drawing scanned at 600 dpi with lettering in Perseus font, printed on white card stock. The 48-page chapbook contains 20 poems each occupying a two-page spread and 7 pieces of inked artwork. There's also a digital reproduction of a 5th century B.C. red figure-style krater by Italic potters. All artwork as well as the selection of the krater comes courtesy of ASGP's own Classics and Fine Arts Utah State University student Therese Leigh.

Click Here to learn how to obtain this chapbook (mail-ordering; store locations).

A drawing of Cupid with bow and arrow

The Myth Of Pheromone

Cupid has countless colored arrows in his quiver.
     In a rainbow, mortal eyes see seven,
Seven colors, though their number has no number.
     It's like that with Cupid's colored arrows, see?
One shade for every single special sort of loving,
     And, we'll agree, that number knows no counting.
Our mortal tongues can only speak in finite terms --
     We're mortal, after all -- so let's just say
His colored arrows number seven, to converse, O.K.?
     The red one is the worst, Mmm, at piercing
Our will to resist love's overwhelming influence.
     Even Cupid's mother had no defense.

Sort of accidentally, he pricked his mother, Venus,
     The goddess of love, with a red arrowhead.
She succumbed to her own power, and fell for a mortal, Adonis.
     Sadly, Adonis was gored by a boar and died.
The goddess of love was, let's just say, divinely pissed.
     She tore her hair, and beat her perfect breasts
Before the gods. "Each and every one of us
     Has fallen to my wicked little boy!
Even you, mighty Jupiter!" She cried.
     "Even you, lord of lightning, ruler of the gods!"
Jove filed his nails with a thunderbolt, scanning his murmuring clan.
     "Very well," he boomed. "Here's my plan ... "

The wings of Mercury's sandals beat like a hummingbird's, chasing
     The sassy little bastard round the clouds,
But a sweep of Mercury's magic staff of coiling serpents
     Anesthetized Cupid. Venus chose an arrow,
A red one, and poked it in her baby's bare behind.
     O!, how she laughed, as he shot from sleep in Mercury's arms
On his helpless heart's quest. Like a stone, he fell madly for Pheromone,
     The first girl he saw, the ugliest girl on Earth.
She'd never known love, least of all love from the god of love.
     Panicked by passion, the foul wretch fled,
And fell from a cliff. Heartbroken, Cupid transformed her, mid-air.
     She stimulates all today, foul or fair.

Copyright © August 26 1994 Jesse Rider

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Copyright © 1995 A Small Garlic Press. All rights reserved.
Created 1995/11/7. Updated last on 2008/5/2.